Microsoft has announced a cross-platform app powered by Windows Azure called HelpBridge. It is an app which allows you to both ask for help as well as offer help in case of a natural disaster. This app is available on the Google Play store, Apple iTunes App Store and Windows Phone Store. At the moment it is only available in the US, but we should see Microsoft expanding support to other countries soon.
The HelpBridge app allows you to notify a group of friends or relatives from your contacts in case of an emergency. On your command, the app will send messages over email or SMS to the people who you have nominated to be notified during emergencies. The app also allows you to send a status update on your Facebook timeline and with your permission send across your precise location as well. Absence of Twitter is kind of surprising.
The other function of the app allows you to send across help in the form of money, supplies or even volunteer work in disaster prone areas. You can donate cash using PayPal, supplies can be sent to relief organisations directly and HelpBridge also shows you real-time volunteering opportunities put up by relief organisations.
After apps such as FightBack which allows women to send across a one-click SOS if they perceive danger when out of the house, this is another app that holds a lot of promise for smartphone users. Hopefully, Microsoft will make it available in India soon.